As summer draws to a close and we start considering getting the coats and scarves back out, it can feel like sunshine and trips to the beach are a lifetime away. You might have accepted that the next six months will be cold and wet – especially because a short trip to a neighbouring country won’t be able to offer massive differences in climate to home.
But that doesn’t need to be the case at all. We live in an increasingly global world where travel is easier and cheaper, and many globetrotters are taking advantage by jetting off to Southeast Asia. If you fancy one last dose of summer weather before the nights start closing in, this part of the world is perfect.
In September, most countries in Southeast Asia are at their coolest and driest, and with the height of the tourist season tailing off, it’s the perfect time to pack some sandals and get away – not to mention it’s one of the most budget-friendly parts of the world.
Southeast Asia has plenty of amazing cultures and beaches to choose from – and it’s easy enough to get from one country to the next, with a bit of island-hopping thrown in for good measure along the way, of course.
Get to Singapore for some serious shopping and eating; this tropical city is unlike anywhere else on earth. Take a boat trip to see the stunning islands of Pulau Ubin and take advantage of everything city life has to offer, such as the Universal Studios and some breath-taking architecture, not to mention some seriously high-class dining.
Then, take a short trip to Malaysia, where the rainforest and wildlife will be calling your name. Beautiful beaches, friendly locals and delicious food. And the food culture is an experience in itself, with seriously affordable hawker stalls on every corner. Do not come away without sampling a delicious nasi lemak – it’s a national favourite.
Then there’s Thailand. This Buddhist country is notorious for having some of the friendliest, most helpful people in the world, but there’s plenty to see, do and eat as well. Visit the temples, chat to the locals and do not leave without spending time on its white, picture-perfect beaches – some of the most stunning in the entire region.
And then it’s a quick trip over to Vietnam – where the food just gets better and better. Visit the rice paddies, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities, and visit Ho Chi Minh City to see its French colonial landmarks and Vietnamese War history museums – an important part of the nation’s rich history.
As with all the best holiday destinations, the only real downside with traveling to Southeast Asia in September is having to come back again. But if you find yourself pining for the amazing cuisine you sampled on your travels – worry not. You can find the next best thing in the UK with Vietnamese in Oxford at Banana Tree, serving authentic Southeast Asian Cuisine – like their delicious aromatic pho and Banana Tree laksa.